The Top 10 Most Important Fashion Designers In L.A.


Jennifer MeyerPhoto Credit: Andreas Branch

You’ve most likely already seen her work on stars like Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Alba. 39-year-old jewelry designer and L.A. native Jennifer Meyer is known for her elegant, versatile designs that fit just as easily on the red carpet, as they do with a T-shirt and jeans. Companies like Barneys New York and Net-a-Porter have come calling to collaborate with this Cali gal, a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Runner-Up and CFDA Swarovski Award nominee. Meyer, whose designs grace the crème de la crème of Hollywood starlets on the daily, is pure Hollywood through and through—not only is she the daughter of NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer and wife of actor Tobey Maguire, she also worked for the Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren fashion houses before debuting her own collection, ‘Made with love in Los Angeles.’


rodartePhoto Credit: Autumn De Wilde

It is an extremely rare occurrence when Anna Wintour wants to take a meeting after viewing an initial collection of ten items, but such was the case with Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind Rodarte—who still lived at home with their parents in Pasadena at the time. But you name it and these girls have done it: they have permanent collections at LACMA, in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum. They are the winners of both the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, as well as the National Art Award from Americans for the Arts for their dreamy, ethereal pieces, which can also be seen throughout Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 ballet drama, Black Swan.


David HeilPhoto Credit: Taj Stansberry

David Heil is the American fashion designer specializing in custom menswear who truly understands how to create a spectacularly cut suit. The Chief Executive Officer of David August, Inc. is known for a signature aesthetic: clean, modern, tailored lines and an almost fanatical and legendary attention to detail. He continues to scour the world to perfect his craft, seeking fabulous fabrics in Italy, learning how to sew a button correctly from master tailors on Savile Row and, a after discovering the best belt maker he had ever seen in El Paso, learned said skill firsthand. As David August heads towards its 25th anniversary, Heil continues to push the envelope beyond what’s expected from men’s fashion, offering business and formal wardrobes and a complete collection of casual elements, as well, to the likes of Chris Hemsworth and UFC superstar Conor McGregor.


Monique Lhuillier

Here comes the bride… and, more often than not, she’ll be wearing a Monique Lhuillier creation. This L.A.-based bridal and RTW designer’s creations have been worn by everyone from Blake Lively to Reese Witherspoon to First Lady Michelle Obama—women who are drawn to her unique, feminine and alluring, whimsical and playful, sophisticated and sexy aesthetic. Lhuillier, who most recently launched her first line of accessories, including footwear and bags, has some serious pedigree attached to her name: she was invited to be a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003 and received the Presidential Medal of Merit in 2006.


Trina Turk

Trina Turk’s effortlessly chic, easy-breezy dresses and beachwear are staples in affluent beach communities from Malibu to Manhattan Beach and beyond. The fact that this local California gal is inspired by the Golden State’s creativity, craftsmanship, architecture and landscape is no surprise—it’s evident in the effortless élan and carefree glamour of her bold, signature prints and bright, cheerfully-hued separates. Trina and her photographer husband, Jonathan Skow, launched the line of women’s contemporary ready-to-wear in 1995, which then evolved to include accessories, swimwear, residential décor, textiles, footwear, jewelry and the Mr. Turk menswear. The pair splits its time between Palm Springs and Silver Lake for optimal California inspiration.


Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe is a distinguished designer, editor, author, stylist, TV personality and entrepreneur celebrated for her effortless take on glamour. As a designer, Zoe makes her exceptional taste and expertise accessible to the fashion-savvy as Creative Director of the Rachel Zoe Collection, comprised of ready-to-wear, footwear and jewelry lines. Zoe is also the Editor-in-Chief of online style destination, The Zoe Report, reaching over 14 million worldwide. It recently launched Box of Style, a subscription service filled with over $350 of coveted fashion, beauty and lifestyle items for $100, all hand-picked by Rachel and her team. She started her career as a world-renowned stylist revolutionizing the business and inspiring future generations of stylists. Zoe is committed to philanthropic organizations both locally and globally, serving as an Artist Ambassador for Save the Children and on the Board of Directors for Baby2Baby. In addition, Zoe has been on countless ‘most influential’ lists from virtually every domestic and international fashion and financial publication. She and her husband, Rodger Berman, run their lifestyle brand all while being parents to two young boys, Skyler and Kaius.


George Esquivel

Esquivel designs are like art. The SoCal-based footwear designer handcra s his one-of-a-kind shoes in his atelier, cobbled one at a time with care for the ultimate quality. As the founder, president and design director of Esquivel Designs, he has previously collaborated with brands such as Chloé and Tommy Hilfiger and was the one-time creative director of the luxe travel brand TUMI. In addition, Esquivel has redesigned an American collection for Italian shoe company Fratelli Rossetti and, in 2009, was a Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund nominee. Most recently, he collaborated with fellow California designer Nick Fouquet on Esquivel x Nick Fouquet.


James Perse

James Perse is the man responsible for making simple T-shirts into a style staple. He was always destined for fashion greatness though, splitting his childhood between the beach, the hockey rink and the oor of his father’s cutting-edge Los Angeles boutique, Maxfield. It was sports, however, that led to his true passion for fashion: he set out to make the perfect baseball cap for Maxfield in 1991 and it wasn’t long before Hollywood’s movers and shakers sought out his designs. In 1994, he launched the T-shirt line that rapidly gained loyal fans looking for a seamless blend of luxe and casual that would become his signature. Perse soon moved into women’s knitwear and ready-to-wear, menswear and children’s clothing before opening his rst retail store in 2003. Currently, a boutique hotel that captures the James Perse luxe-casual lifestyle is in development.



The House of Bijan has always set itself apart from the rest: it is one of the world’s most exclusive shops, an illustrious, by-appointment- only empire located on Los Angeles’ ritziest street, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. You’ll know the exterior by the bright yellow Bugatti parked outside; those who are lucky enough to enter the hallowed halls of this stately, $25 million palazzo—decorated with upscale touches like marble floors, a perfume bottle chandelier and rare works of art—will find the nest menswear in the world, from suits to neckties and rare, one- of-a-kind accessories. Sadly, the brand’s beating heart, Bijan Pakzad, passed away in 2011, but his son Nicolas continues to carry on the boutique’s legacy today, more than 40 years after its was established.


Jeremy ScottPhoto Credit: Moschino

The avant-garde are drawn to Jeremy Scott, a whimsical fashion maestro who currently serves as the creative director of Moschino. The Kansas City-born designer counts esoteric fashion tastemakers and trendsetters, such as Rihanna, Bjork, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus among his many fans. They are drawn to his larger-than-life designs, which incorporate everything from mermaids to dollar bills to S&M-style leather. Scott, who has been an L.A. resident since 2001, has twice won the Venus de la Mode Award for Best Designer of the Year and was recognized by the CFDA as a Best Young Designer nominee.